As Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares presents Impeachment Article 7:
Multi-sectoral group presents demand: Convict Corona! Jail Arroyo!

 

Senate grounds

 

February 22, 1012

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Photo by Joselito Taldo Soemeña
   


 
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Photos by Joselito Taldo Sosmeña / PCPR
           
     

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Convict Corona, Jail GMA! Statement on the Corona trial and Arroyo’s arraignment
Posted on 22 February 2012 by admin

Press Statement
February 23, 2012

REFERENCE: Renato M. Reyes, Jr BAYAN Secretary General
 

Today we gather near the Senate to add our voices to the ongoing impeachment trial against Chief Justice Renato Corona and the arraignment of former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. It is a welcome coincidence that Arroyo’s arraignment takes place at the same time the Senate is hearing evidence on CJ Corona’s maneuvers in granting Arroyo a TRO which would have allowed her to escape justice.
 

Corona should be held accountable for his individual acts as Chief Justice that facilitated the TRO on Arroyo’s watchlist order. Corona is liable for hastening the SC issuance of the TRO, for changing the results of the SC deliberations on the conditionality of the TRO and in ensuring that the TRO would be immediately enforced through irregular means, including the extension of office hours.
 

Corona cannot hide behind the mantle of collegiality since documents from the SC have revealed his individual role and partiality in granting of the TRO. The TRO fiasco showed us how Arroyo intended to use the SC as her last line of defense to evade accountability. We saw how the SC was all too willing to accommodate Arroyo’s demands.
 

We condemn the SC February 14 resolution which seeks to suppress evidence on this issue by declaring certain documents as confidential and by preventing court officials from testifying before the Senate. The public deserves to know what actually transpired during the deliberations of Arroyo’s petition for TRO. The Senate should oppose this grand cover up by the SC. It is frustrating that the Senate through its rulings has further narrowed the avenues for seeking the truth on Corona’s misdeeds.
 

The Corona impeachment and Arroyo’s arraignment remind us that much still needs to be done to hold Arroyo truly accountable for ALL her crimes.
 

It was the SC TRO that precipitated the filing of a criminal case against Arroyo, in an effort to render the SC TRO moot and keep Arroyo in the country. We reiterate our position that Arroyo should be jailed for the criminal case she faces in the Pasay RTC. Her continued hospital detention smacks of special treatment and double-standards. Her accountability should not be limited to the 2007 elections but should cover gross human rights violations, plunder and wholesale election fraud of 2004.
 

The SC TRO debacle was the result of the failure of current president Benigno Aquino III to prosecute Arroyo during his first year and a half in office. Arroyo’s attempt to escape justice was helped by no small means by the inability of the Aquino government to file cases in court against the former president. And were it not for Arroyo’s attempt to flee, through the SC TRO, the Comelec would not have immediately filed the case of election sabotage at the Pasay RTC.
 

What is clear is that nearly two years into office, Aquino has not prosecuted Arroyo for her more serious crimes What is becoming increasingly clear is that Aquino has used the impeachment to divert attention from this and other failures and to pin all blame on the SC.
 

While Corona’s removal from the SC will, to some extent, help in the prosecution of GMA, we should be reminded that it is still the Executive which has the ultimate responsibility in ensuring GMA is held accountable. Aquino too will eventually be judged based on these expectations. ###

     
     
           
 
     
     

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BAYAN-NCR Statement: On the Impeachment of Chief Justice Renato Corona
by Bayan-ncr Chapter on Friday, February 24, 2012 at 12:05am ·

Political escape-goat: How the Aquino regime is using SC impeachment to cover its failure to prosecute Arroyo

For nearly a month and a half, the Senate has been a battlefield for the impeachment process of Supreme Court Renato Corona – known as an Arroyo appointee, cohort and defender.
 

Since the start of the senate hearing last January 16, 2012, series of evidences revealing Corona’s real wealth come out. From his PS Bank accounts, at least P 37 million was found to be undeclared, highly dissimilar to his declared assets of P 3.1 million. But through a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) issued by the court and favored by the senator-judges, the remaining dollar accounts were remained unopened up to this date – a matter greatly influenced by the SC’s allies of big landlords and big compradors.
 

Clearly indicated, the Aquino regime is not yet resolved to put the main culprit behind bars- former president Gloria Arroyo, who until this time remains at large and is even given extension of a hospital arrest.
 

Amidst the SC reactionary character resulting to protecting Arroyo and corruption issues, the process of Corona’s impeachment, the people’s agenda of prosecuting GMA is greatly undermined.

UNHEARD: THE PEOPLE ‘S CALLS FOR NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC DEMANDS
 

While inutile of implementing genuine reforms, the Aquino regime is tactically using SC Corona’s impeachment to its advantage by diverting the people’s attention from economic and political crises. Worse, it even places the process at the forefront of his administration’s programs to widely deceive the Filipino people about the true state of the nation of inflation rates, budget cuts and neo-liberal policies, poverty and human right violations.
 

In reality, the national democratic demands of the people remain unheard.
 

The call for genuine agrarian reform is still elusive in the current system. The haciendero himself, President Aquino keenly holds power over the case of clan-owned Hacienda Luisita so as to other land-related cases all over the country to the disadvantage of the farmers and the toiling masses.
 

As wide oppression and poverty are addressed in the countryside, there is no stressed difference in the urban situation as the regime fails to protect urban poor settlers from brutal demolitions, inhumane conditions in resettlement areas and separation from workplaces resulting to joblessness. Contradictory to his once bright indications of Public-Private-Partnership, Aquino moves by giving away public lands, mostly urban poor communities to big compradors such as Ayala, Lopez, Araneta-Roxas, Estrada and a lot more.

In the long run, the ordinary people has long been recipients of the chaos brought by hikes in the prices of oil, basic commodities and services. The chronic condition of the people is maintained by the state through policies such as Oil Deregulation Law, EVAT and others.
 

At such, the National Budget is also designed to worsen the people’s condition through cuts in the funds for education, health and other social services. The government replacements for neglected duties are programmed as Conditional Cash Transfer, Pantawid Pasada and other palliative programs practically assessed as short-ranged and ineffective.
 

The forthcoming Balikatan Exercises is a direct indication of Aquino’s puppetry to the United States at the expense of the country’s sovereignty. The impositions in the renewed Visiting Forces Agreement are threats of a wider, bigger and indefinite presence of US troops in the country.
 

Justice on the other hand is still not served to the victims of human rights’ violations as butchers and violators are still at large such as Palparan, whose arrest is still the government forces’ main incapability.
In the end the government still denies the people from their national democratic demands. In return, it instead works as a prime implementing body of imperialists’ policies that worsen conditions of poverty and the people’s bastardized condition.
 

The condition is very timely to expose and oppose the current system. Only through collective action and participation in the national democratic struggle can the people attain genuine social justice.

Bagong Alyansang Makabayan
National Capital Region
Feb 24, 2012

 

     
     
           
     
     
     

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NEWS RELEASE
23 February 2012
FOR REFERENCE: REP. LUZ ILAGAN 0920-9213221
Jang Monte (Public Information Officer) 0917-4049119

PROSECUTE GMA FOR PLUNDER AND VIOLATION OF RIGHTS; ACCOUNTABILITY FOR BIGGER CRIMES AGAINST THE PEOPLE DOES NOT LIE IN CORONA IMPEACHMENT ALONE

“Even as President Aquino’s administration claims to be on track in its anti-corruption campaign in pursuing Chief Justice Corona’s conviction, let us all be reminded that former President Arroyo, a bigger plunderer and a human rights violator has yet to be made accountable.”

Thus said Gabriela Women’s Party Representative Luz Ilagan following Mrs. Arroyo’s arraignment and as the Senate impeachment court tackles anew today the Article 7 on the partiality of Chief Justice Renato Corona as revealed in the Supreme Court’s issuance of a temporary restraining order against the travel ban on former President Arroyo.

“DOJ Secretary Leila De Lima’s testimony brings to mind how the Aquino administration almost bungled the case against Mrs. Arroyo with delays in the filing of cases against the former president. Several other cases have been filed against Mrs. Arroyo, all of which are moving at a pace so much slower than a snail’s. Have they not learned their lessons? Justice delayed is justice denied,” said Ilagan.

“The lethargy and indolence with which the Aquino administration continues to direct the prosecution of the plunder and human rights cases against Mrs. Arroyo casts doubt on President Aquino’s determination and sincerity in pursuing accountability. This remains a cause for outrage and unrest.” #

           
     
     
     

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News Release
22 February 2012

Aquino’s attacks vs Corona may affect HLI decision - Anakpawis

Anakpawis Partylist fears that President Aquino’s heated attacks against Chief Justice Renato Corona may affect the implementation of the Supreme Court’s ruling on Hacienda Luisita.

“Aquino’s word war against Corona could send a chilling effect on other SC justices. His persistent attack sends a message to other justices that they could end in the same fate as Corona’s if they favor the Luisita farmers over the Cojuangco-Aquinos.” Joel Maglunsod, Anakpawis Executive Vice President said.

“Primarily, Aquino wants the SC to prevent or delay the implementation or at least, to approve his family’s claim for ‘unjust’ compensation” he added.

The militant partylist also slammed the slow paced implementation of the Luisita ruling saying three months have already passed still, the SC has not released implementing guidelines for the decision.

“Are our justices cowed by the Aquino administration’s anti-Corona rhetorics? Will they give in to Aquino’s threats and favor the Cojuangco-Aquinos? We hope not. We urge the SC to hasten the implementation of the Luisita decision and distribute the lands to its tillers without any compensation for Aquino’s family” Maglunsod said.

Free land distribution

Anakpawis meanwhile slammed Aquino for demanding that the government pay P1 million per hectare of HLI lands to his family as “just compensation” saying the Cojuanco-Aquinos should receive nothing from the lands that the farmers have worked hard for.

“No compensation must be given to Aquino’s family. They have already siphoned too much from our farmers sweat and blood. The Cojuanco-Aquino clan should instead get jail time for the mass murder of farmers in the Hacienda Luisita massacre” said Maglunsod.

“Hacienda Luisita must be freely distributed to its tillers. They have already given enormous riches to the Cojuangco-Aquino clan from decades of exploitation and slavery. It would be unjust and inhumane to ask them for more” he added.

Maglunsod also called on Congress to immediately pass the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (House Bill 374) to legislate the free distribution of agricultural lands to farmers all over the country.

“The farmers of Hacienda Luisita exposed the real situation of all Filipino peasants and farm workers. If our justice system already believes that they should own the lands they till, then there is no question that it should also be the case for all Filipino farmers” Maglunsod said.

“We are one with the farmers of Hacienda Luisita in their fight for genuine land reform. We also call on all Filipino peasants and farm workers to pursue their struggle for land and justice against feudal exploitation and Aquino’s landlord dominated administration” he ended. ##


Reference: Joel Maglunsod, Anakpawis Executive Vice President, 0949-755-2415

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February 23, 2012
REFERENCE: Vencer Crisostomo, Anakbayan national chairperson, 09174416739 / 09224290258

Anakbayan tells Senate, prosecution, Aquino: 'Eyes on the prize', focus on bringing GMA to justice

Today, on the event of the arraignment of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the national youth group Anakbayan reminds the public to 're-focus' on what the impeachment trial against Chief Justice Renato Corona should really is about: bringing former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to justice.

For the past few weeks, the public has become increasingly distrustful of the trial proceedings, especially as it became increasingly obvious that the move is an attempt to install a pro-Noynoy Supreme Court which would rule favorably, among other things, on the Hacienda Luisita issue. The track of promising to bring Arroyo and her officials to justice have in fact been undermined by the personal motives of President Noynoy Aquino.

The Filipino people must persevere in the fight to bring Gloria to justice. She, and many of her government officials, have been involved in corruption scandals involving billions of pesos. During her nine year rule, her government undertook a systemic policy of murdering and abducting thousands of activists.

Yet so far, it is Aquino himself, for all his talk of a ‘daang matuwid’, who is serving as the biggest roadblock in the path to justice.

It took Aquino more than 500 days before a warrant of arrest was filed against GMA. Even then, the warrant was brought about by massive public outrage against the former president's attempt to flee the country, instead of any kusang-loob in the part of the current administration. Also, Noynoy has downgraded the charges of plunder into mere graft, and has not included the gravest crime committed under GMA: human rights violations of thousands of activists and other government critics.

In addition, the Aquino administration has been giving Gloria Arroyo and her fellow plunderers and war criminals the 'soft treatment', sending the message that it is not serious in punishing them. Aside from the extended hospital treatment accorded to GMA, fellow human rights violator General Jovito Palparan remains free with the help of active and retired military personnel.

We call on the Filipino youth and people to be vigilant and make themselves heard. Let us work to punish Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and all her fellow thieves and mass murderers.###

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Anakbayan Public Information Committee
Contact us at: anakbayan.media@gmail.com / +639175197758
Visit the Online Campaign center @ anakbayan.org

"Only through militant struggle can the best in the youth emerge"
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Anakbayan Public Information Committee
Contact us at: anakbayan.media@gmail.com / +639175197758
Visit the Online Campaign center @ anakbayan.org

"Only through militant struggle can the best in the youth emerge"
 

     
           
     
     
     

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Media Release
February 23, 2012
Reference: Marie Hilao Enrique, Chairperson, 0917-5616800
Angge Santos, Media Liaison, 0918-9790580

Justice, in gridlock on P-Noy’s righteous path –Karapatan

“We want Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in jail. It’s been almost three months since GMA was issued a warrant of arrest yet she remains free and in an air-conditioned hospital room. This is injustice and not what Mike Arroyo claims,” said Marie Hilao-Enriquez, chairperson of Karapatan. Hilao-Enriquez reacted to Mike Arroyo’s “surreal” statement at the Pasay RTC during GMA’s arraignment today that the “case of electoral sabotage against GMA is injustice.”

Hilao-Enriquez added that, “it is P-Noy’s responsibility to ensure that GMA ends up in jail. The P-Noy government should likewise charge GMA for the human rights violations committed under her watch. But under P-Noy, the process of achieving justice for human rights violations is proceeding so slow. Take the case of the fugitive Palparan. It’s been almost three months since he went into hiding yet, we have to feel the government’s efforts to find him and bring him to jail.”

Accoding to Karapatan, the continued freedom of both GMA and Palparan means that the P-Noy government condones their crimes against the people. “Look at how Palparan is tolerated by this government. Palparan continues to dish out press releases to the media that shows his arrogance and contempt, refusing to call himself a fugitive. If he is not, then he should be courageous enough to surface. These ongoing court cases remain for show if in the end GMA, Palparan and their likes are not prosecuted and jailed,” said Hilao-Enriquez.

Karapatan has documented more than a thousand victims of extrajudicial killing under GMA. “Sadly, the killing and other forms of human rights violations continue under P-Noy. Enough of media spins. We want real justice for the victims of human rights violations. We want an end to impunity,” concluded Hilao-Enriquez.

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Alliance for the Advancement of People's Rights
2nd Flr. Erythrina Bldg., #1 Maaralin corner Matatag Sts., Central District
Diliman, Quezon City, PHILIPPINES 1101
Telefax: (+63 2) 4354146
Web: http://www.karapatan.org

KARAPATAN is an alliance of human rights organizations and programs, human rights desks and committees of people’s organizations, and individual advocates committed to the defense and promotion of people’s rights and civil liberties. It monitors and documents cases of human rights violations, assists and defends victims and conducts education, training and campaign.
 

     
           
           

 


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